More adults are choosing to stay in their homes as they age. If your parents have made this choice, you need to evaluate their home and take some measures to make sure they’re safe.
As they age, they tend to slip and fall more, forget to switch off the stove or take medication. Fortunately, while aging is inevitable, you can take steps to help prevent accidents, fatal mishaps and injuries. Here are some ways you can help your parents to stay safe.
- Remove hazards
Falls often take place outside the home. Ensure that the driveway and entrance to the home are free of hazards. Repair any cracks in the sidewalk leading to the home and make sure porches aren’t slippery.
Inside the home, area rugs can be a tripping hazard as they tend to curl up at the corners. Remove them or tape down the corners. Clutter and extension cords are other potential tripping hazards you will need to sort out.
- Get help from others
You can’t always stop by as often as you would like. Leave a house key with neighbors in case your parents lock themselves out of the house. If there are times when you can’t reach them on the phone, the neighbor can pop by and check on them.
If a parent has an emergency, getting help immediately can make a difference between life and death. Consider medical alert companies that respond to the push of a button on a device a parent wears around the neck or on a wrist.
Professional caregivers will make sure your parents are safe when you’re not around. Tandem Careplanning takes away the stress of finding a professional caregiver. It’s carefully vetted caregivers will make sure your aging parents are safe, comfortable, taking their medication and much more.
- Improve lighting
Make sure that the lighting throughout the home is good. When your parents can’t see properly, they are at more risk of having an accident. Your parents shouldn’t have to climb ladders to replace light bulbs so make sure you always replace burned-out bulbs for them.
If there’s a staircase in the home, make sure there are light switches at the bottom and top of the stairs. Entryways also need to be well lit. Motion-sensor lighting can prevent your parents from struggling to find a light switch in the dark.
- Make adjustments to the bathroom
The bathroom is one of the most difficult rooms to navigate for older adults. Many injuries can occur while bathing or showering. Fortunately, you can make a number of modifications that will make it safer. Install grab bars inside and outside the shower and on either side of the toilet seat.
You can install a built-in seat in the shower. Make sure the hot and cold faucets are marked. Buy non-slip mats to use inside and outside the shower.
- Deal with dangers in the kitchen
As your parents age, their five senses gradually deteriorate. They are not as quick and agile as they used to be and their memories are not as good. This can make the kitchen another room where they are exposed to certain dangers.
Experts recommend rearranging pantries and utensils so that the most-used items are easy to reach. Your parents should never have to stand on a stool or chair to gain access to any items in the kitchen.
You can help to keep them safe from fires in the kitchen by changing any damaged electrical cords and avoiding putting too many cords into one socket. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of an emergency and install a smoke detector.